Neural Network Serves Up Truly Frightening Halloween Costume Ideas

first_img MIT’s AI Knitting System Designs, Creates Woven GarmentsResearchers Train AI To Feel Emotion, Too Stay on target Life is stressful enough, without having to come up with an original Halloween costume.This year, leave your anxieties behind and wow everyone with a truly unique ensemble—generated by an AI.“I wanted to find out if a neural network could help invent Halloween costumes,” machine learning artist Janelle Shane wrote in a blog post.Using a crowdsourced list, Shane trained her algorithm on everything from the classics—witch, ghost, pirate, superhero, vampire, sexy nurse (among 300 other provocative costumes, including sexy poop emoji, sexy Cookie Monster, and sexy anglerfish)—to more technically challenging ideas, like whale-frog, Lake Michigan, and toaster oven.“All this is to say that humans are very creative, and this task was going to be tricky for a neural network,” Shane said. “The sensible approach would be to try to use a neural network that actually knows what the words mean.”But Halloween isn’t about being sensible. It’s about appropriating ancient Celtic traditions and co-opting global cultures.“I wanted something a bit weirder,” Shane continued. “So, I used a neural network that learns words from scratch, letter by letter, with no knowledge of their meaning.“I simply dumped the 4,500 Halloween costumes on it, and told the neural network to figure it out.”You can bet no one else at the party will be dressed as Fairy Batman, Panda Clam, or Starfleet Shark (via Janelle Shane)Initially, it struggled, spitting out ideas like “sexy cot,” “sexy pot,” and incomprehensible options such as “the ran spean sexy sexy pon sexy dander” (you might have to DIY that one).To be fair, though, it did offer up “sexy cat,” which is a very real costume found in droves each year. That may have just been a fluke, though.With more time and better understanding, the AI began to make sense (though still came up with variants on “sexy nurse”). Eventually, the network found its niche: costume mashups.You can bet no one else in the neighborhood will be dressed as a punk tree, potato man (or woman), strawberry shark, or pirate firefighter. And if you’re looking for a novel take on a famous person or character, take Spartan Gandalf, fairy Batman, Snape scarecrow, vampire Big Bird, or Lady Garbage for a spin this weekend.Check out Shane’s blog for even more random costumes (Aldonald the goddess of the chicken, shower witch), a list of awesome new superheroes and villains (I want to be Super Pun), and a seemingly endless supply of “sexy” getups (sexy pumpkin pirate, sexy lamp, sexy barber).Plus, sign up for an extended collection of names, available via email.“Oh please go read them, because they are so good and it was so hard to decide which ones to fit into the main article,” Shane said.Need a last-minute costume idea? Check out our lineup of tech-themed outfits, and gain some inspiration from sister site PCMag’s list of 10 costumes to help you geek out.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more